5 Nigerian Women Talk About Working From Home

June 4, 2021

Working from home is now a norm in Nigeria, thanks or no thanks to the pandemic. However, as smoothly as you imagine it, it comes with its own set of challenges. In this article, I asked five Nigerian women to share their experiences working from home. Here’s what they said: 

Working from home

Ife

I am like the housewives in Nollywood movies — the ones that work hard all day, juggling work and family, only for their spouse to come back home at night to ask why there is no food on the table. Except in my story, my siblings and my elder cousin do the asking. 

Every day, I wake up early to do house chores and cook because everyone leaves the house at 6 a.m. After this, I resume my work online.  It’s a remote job, so working hours are blurred — sometimes I work till 8. Of course, my family members don’t understand and the judgmental sighs from my cousin who is visiting from Oyo state don’t help. Recently I got one of those sighs on a bad day and I got angry. I told him and everyone else that cooking for them is a privilege and they shouldn’t feel entitled to it. I work the same way they do and I am not a junior staff at my office. 

I stopped cooking and created a timetable. They say “Ijoba military la wa” and tell everyone that I’m starving them every time they have to enter the kitchen after work but I don’t care.  It also made me realize that I’d rather stay unmarried than manage a man child.  

Hadiza

I work for a UK-based tech startup that is bootstrapping. This means we don’t get paid for now. It’s horrible. I feel bad sometimes because I am only able to work at night. I am never on time and I miss many meetings because I live with my aunt.  I have to wake up at 5 am everyday to do house chores. I make fresh meals three times a day. I can’t use my phone or laptop outside of work because they would say that I am obsessed with my gadgets. When I eventually sit down to work, I get called every 10 minutes to do something as minor as taking a cup of water to the kitchen, which by the way is closer to the parlour than my room. 

Sometimes, my cousins and siblings bring me their kids to watch. It’s a complete mess. Some months ago, I complained and was told “What sort of work do you want us to believe you’re doing when you don’t even get paid? Your mates are in the office, meanwhile all you do is type on your laptop and make calls that never end. Who even buys you airtime?” I am genuinely tired.

Ty

My mum doesn’t respect the work from home idea. She calls me to do chores any time she pleases. One time I was on a Zoom meeting and she kept screaming my name, asking me to come and blend pepper. I said I was in a meeting but she still asked me to do it. 

Then there is my dad who thinks I’m jobless because I work from home. I’ve tried to explain how remote jobs work but he’s not having it. He insists that I’mjobless. It’s frustrating  but I prefer  working from home because I have social anxiety and working at the office can be a lot for me.

Blessing

I have always been accustomed to working from home because I worked in the UK for a while before moving to Nigeria. However, living in Nigeria and leading a completely remote team while also being a wife and mum is a new level for me. I run a consulting firm and mainly work from home. I have to keep reminding everyone at home that even though they can see me, I am not available — I am working. 

Different things happen in my day to distract me from work like the help barging in while I’m in a meeting to ask me what’s for lunch or my husband asking me to make his breakfast just before I go into a 10 o’ clock meeting. Sometimes, there’s an expectation that I should actually leave the meeting to attend to their needs. 

I also have a toddler who thankfully is always in her room with her nanny during the day but as her mum, I am sensitive to her different sounds and cries to make sure she hasn’t bumped her head or something like that. These days, I just ignore and everybody sorts themselves out. Sometimes I have to escape to a cafe so they deal with my absence and they always do just fine.

Abeni

It’s been over a year since I started working from home. At first, when I was living with my parents, everything was okay apart from light issues but we had a generator. I was working a part time job then so it wasn’t bad. Everything changed when I moved out. I have to pay my light bills myself now. My flatmate goes to work every day so I am often alone and that sucks. 

Luckily, my new workplace makes things easy for me. My colleagues are nice people. Sometimes, we have zoom parties. They are currently considering getting me an inverter because there is no light during the day. I struggle with staying up while I am working because my old job was part-time and I could nap when I wanted but I curb that by going to work at the bookstore where my friend works. Other times, I go to nearby restaurants. Overall, it’s a nice experience for me. 

Subscribe here.

Mariam Sule

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Watch

Now on Zikoko

June 18, 2021

People love us for various reasons. Take this quiz and we’ll tell you what your friends love most about you. Relationships can be hard, and sometimes you just need someone to give you a bit of advice. Ask Ozzy is our new advice column where you send Zikoko the relationship questions that have been bugging […]

June 17, 2021

While smart investing is a sure way to build and retain wealth, it can be a daunting prospect for beginners. In the same vein, it is a lot easier when you understand the various options in which you can invest and ultimately grow your wealth. Here are some options you can consider when taking the […]

June 17, 2021

The BBNaija Lockdown Reunion (2020’s edition of Big Brother Naija) show will air on the 17th of June 2021. Keeping with the tradition of the show, the reunion will be hosted by Ebuka Obi Uchendu and will feature some of the BBN: Lockdown housemates talking about memorable moments from their season while also hashing out […]

June 17, 2021

Union Bank has announced a nationwide campaign to give away 55 Million Naira to new and existing customers in its ‘Save & Win Palli’ promo. This is another way the Bank is offering Nigerians some relief (a.k.a. ‘palliative’) from the economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues. During the promo period […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

January 2, 2020

Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer. 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are Ready To Marry  Are you ready to marry? Take these quizzes.

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

More from Her

Acne
June 16, 2021

Dealing with acne is never easy. From random people recommending products to you to the self-esteem dip, everyone has their story. In this article, seven Nigerian women talk about living with acne.  Khloe, 22  I was 14 the first time I noticed acne on my face. It was my first year in university. I didn’t […]

June 16, 2021

The subject of this week’s What She Said is a 25-year-old Nigerian woman who has travelled to over fifteen countries alone. She talks about how this love for travelling started, the way she’s stigmatised at airports and in hotels, and her dream to attend aviation school. What was growing up like? Life was good until […]

menstrual cups
June 15, 2021

As inflation happens and prices of products across the country increase, more Nigerian women are moving away from pads to more sustainable sanitary products. In this article, five Nigerian women talk about their experience using menstrual cups.  Elizabeth, 19 Sanitary pads never did it for me. Getting good sanitary pads was a real struggle for […]

June 11, 2021

How we start our day usually has a paramount effect on how the rest of our day goes. When you love a woman or want to move to a woman you like, it is important you send her beautiful messages to put her in the right mood. Here’s a list of helpful ways on how […]

June 11, 2021

We have written about some of the ways the Twitter ban affects Nigerians. Here’s a list of the ways the ban affects Nigerian women. It will affect their access to: 1. Learning opportunities Twitter has always been a source of information to many women. In an article published yesterday, some women talked about how they […]

June 10, 2021

Feminism is a diverse movement that aims to liberate women and other oppressed groups. Each feminist’s path is different from the next. In this article, I asked eight Nigerian women why they became feminists, and here’s what they had to say:  Kay, 26 I was a feminist even before I knew what the word meant. […]

consequences of teen pregnancies
June 10, 2021

I read a lot of books growing up about the consequences of teen pregnancies and it was always interesting to me how teenagers were treated without a care in such conversations. Nothing about how they feel or how it happened and how to prevent it — just age-old fear-mongering. In this article, four Nigerian women […]

Nigerian female lawyers
June 9, 2021

This week is one of those times where we, as a country, wonder if the constitution is simply a suggestion. Many lawyers have complained of studying and practising law in a lawless state. Like with most issues, women’s experiences take a unique form. In this article, nine Nigerian female lawyers talk about practising law in […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X